Balls under the red flag (Cui Jian)

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General information

Balls under the red flag
Artist Cui Jian
English title Balls under the red flag
Chinese Title 红旗下的蛋 / Hóngqí xià de dàn
Publisher EMI
Date of release 1994
Release Type CD, LP
Languages on Record Chinese
Total Discs 1
Total Tracks 8
This is a record which could be a CD, LP, tape, digital netdownload or any other kind of collection of music. For a more precise definition, see Category:Records.

Cover

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Preview


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Tracklist

  1. Flying
  2. Tolerate
  3. Balls under the red flag
  4. Beijing Story
  5. The box
  6. The last complaint
  7. Misunderstand
  8. The other shore

Lyrics

Flying

I have absolutely no use for those gadgets
I'm already feeling dizzy and weak
I'm surrounded by the smell of human beings
It can only make me ponder the games people play
This dizziness is blurred
Unconsciously I feel my body floating
Look! Am I different from everyone else?
Like a red dot in the gray?

The expression in people's eyes is hazy
Their eyes dart about wildly but I pay them no mind
I can't see my direction or path clearly
I start to wonder whether I'm messed-up
All around me is the smell of fire
Burning ambiguously between helplessness and rage
Suddenly I step onto air and my body feels high
I'm flying alone

I feel like I've become a heroic bird
I keep flying between the sun and the smog
I open my mouth and howl from the bottom of my lungs
And let out a sound I've never heard before
The sound is so bracing it frightens everybody
Each one stands-up and screams loudly
"What the hell was that?" - and I'm stunned too
So I fly even higher

That night I secretly fly back in the dark
I'm surrounded by the same smell as before
The thing I'm looking for is not up in the air
I am sure it is down here - nowhere else
A few days later they finally find me
All around the expression in their eyes is wrong
Suddenly that fire ignites the air
I want to take flight - but can't get off the ground

Tolerate

My body leans against you
My eyes are closed
My hands repeatedly touching myself
I want to satisfy myself and excite you as well
I want to tell you everything without you becoming angry

I don't love you anymore
But I don't hate you either
Although you are still you
I have no energy
And I don't think it really necessary
That I must fight you
Fuck off. Just fuck off.
I curse you behind your back
Let's see - let's really see who can
Stick it out right to the very end

Both my eyes are open but full of being misaccused
I look at your appearance and inside I feel even more repressed
I want to sing a song of tolerance for everything
But from my throat comes a strange sound

Ahhh. Ahhh…

Balls under the red flag

Suddenly the door opens
But actually not so sudden
The time has come
But who knows what to do?
The red flag's still aflutter
But there's no fixed direction
The revolution still continues
The old men have still more power

Money flutters in the air
We have no ideals
Although the air is clear
We can't see any further
Although our chance has come
We don't have the guts for it
Our personalities are all rounded
Like balls under the red flag

The head suddenly comes out
It's the hope of many years
Standing tall, chests thrust out, shouting
It's a natural inheritance
Of course we understand inside
Whose descendants we are
No matter if our behavior is good or bad
Deep inside we still know we're pure

Authority fluttering in the air
Often gusts over my shoulder
Suddenly there's an idea
Don't follow others blindly
Although the body's weak
Although it can only yell
Look at the *eight to nine o'clock sun
Like balls under the red flag

My stomach is full now
My brain is clear now too
But don't say this is a great favor
It can never be repaid
We are no longer pawns in a chess game
Following lines drawn by others
We try standing up ourselves
Get moving and take a look at everything

Reality is like a stone
Spirit is like an egg
Although stones are hard
Eggs are life
Mother is still alive
Father is a flagpole
If you ask us who we are
We are balls under the red flag

Beijing Story

Sang for quite awhile but still didn't sing completely about
the pain of this city
But the more pain, the more we're able to imagine
the happiness of tomorrow
I wear a smile on my face like everybody else
still living on this earth
I'm prepared now to speak
the fucking truth, lies, and nonsense

Suddenly a new movement comes along
And changes my life like a revolution
A girl bringing love appears
Whipping my face like a storm

Love is a movement where
everything you say must be the truth
In comparison a revolution of so many years
seems completely fucking fake
I forgot that a sensitive temper suddenly becomes worse
after being released from control
It's an indirect reaction brought by long-term repression
and expressed once love arrives

Suddenly a new movement comes along
And changes my life like a revolution
A girl bringing love appears
Whipping my face like a storm

Love comes into my heart
And changes life like a revolution
A girl appears
And whips my eyes like a storm

Sang for quite awhile but still didn't sing completely about
the loneliness of this city
But the deeper the loneliness, the more we're able to feel
the joy of love
People wear smiles on their faces just like before yet
strolling around idly
I suddenly realize I've been
completely confused by this movement

The Box

That is my ideals
That box wrapped in that flag
What is in that box?
Nobody has ever seen

The flag is dyed red with blood
So the victor loves red most
And what's in the box becomes unimportant
What's important is the victor's pride

The proud victor has the most power
His ass sits on that box
The blood on that flag again gets wet
And dyes the victor's pants all red

Hey! My ideal is that
That box wrapped in that red flag
But my body is here
Blocked by that bloodied flag and legs

My ideals are there
My body is here

The body without ideals is shrinking
More and more like a fucking mouse
I secretly chew a hole in that flag
I want to let my ideals see I'm still alive

But my ideals are too big
How is it possible to get out through that little hole?
I apply a bit of force, kick my legs, and dive into it
Only to realize that these boxes are wrapped inside another one

There's no way for that idiot on top to know
That there are so many boxes inside
Where on earth are my ideals?
I search through all the boxes from one to the other

Finally I get to the last box
But I still don't find what I'm looking for
Suddenly I realize I've been cheated
And stamp my feet anxiously

My ideals are there
My body is here

Suddenly I misstep into thin air
Fuck! It's a hole and it's fucking deep!
I keep falling down through the hole
And the deeper I go the more spacious it gets

I do not know how long and how far I've walked
And I've forgotten why I even came here
Suddenly a beam of light blinds me
I keep walking ahead but can't open my eyes at all

To adapt to the light I must stand still
And only then finally realize how weak my body is
Suddenly my ideals start calling me
Not from in front of me but from behind

I am going to go back and crush all those boxes
I am going to go back and tear up that worn-out flag
And tell that victor that he was mistaken
That things had started changing long ago

The last complaint

I remember that day
My heart was not so pure
I walked forward against the wind
My heart was filled with complaints
I don't know when I had been hurt
But the hurt gave me feeling

I am not recalling
And I don't want to recall again
But that unclear past makes this wind more intense
That unconstant will makes this hurt more painful
My heart has only love
But love cannot protect me
Oh Yeah. I can only believe in myself

Still on that day
I wanted to release all my feelings
I walked forward against the wind
Unafraid to walk further and further away
I don't know why on earth I was so enraged
But this rage gave me feeling

I am not recalling
And I don't want to recall again
But so many years of wind constantly blowing and shifting
Blew so many people's pain in recurring revolutions
My heart has only love
But love cannot protect me
Oh Yeah. I can only depend on myself.

I want to search for the source of my rage
Then I have to walk forward against the wind
I want to release all of my feelings
Then I have to walk forward against the wind
I want to use hope to replace hate and hurt
Then I have to walk forward against the wind
I want to end this last complaint
Then I have to walk forward against the wind

Forward. Forward.
I walk forward against the wind
Forward. Forward.
I walk forward against the wind

Misunderstand

(Instrumental)

The other shore

Today is some year, some month, some day
We are all facing the same reality
Here is the world - some place in China
We are all singing the same song
La La La…